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The Hirshon Ultimate Carrot Cake

The Hirshon Ultimate Carrot Cake

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature (TFD prefers duck eggs if you can get them)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled carrots, finely grated (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 cup finely-chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins, ideally soaked in a sweet dessert wine – TFD prefers Bonny Doon Vin de Glacière
  • ***
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) salted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 4 cups (512g) confectioners sugar
  • Finely-chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare two (or three, for three skinny layers) 8 or 9-inch cake pans by lightly coating with cooking spray and lining with parchment paper or wax paper.
  3. Beat the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oils, buttermilk, vanilla, and pineapple together in a large bowl.
  4. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, salt and nutmeg.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  6. Fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake on the center oven rack until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. A few crumbs are what you want for a MOIST cake! About 30-40 minutes for two 9” cake pans or 25-30 minutes for three 9” cake pans.
  8. Allow cakes to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before inverting them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Place room temperature butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium until fully incorporated.
  10. Add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and creamy. Whip cream cheese frosting for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  11. Cover cake in frosting.
  12. To assemble the cake:
  13. Place the bottom layer on a cardboard round on serving plate. Scoop about ½ cup of the cream cheese frosting onto the bottom cake layer.
  14. Spread the frosting thinly and evenly over the surface and out to the edge of the cake. repeat with remaining cake layers.
  15. Spread frosting around the sides of the cake, adding more as needed, until it’s covered. Use the palm of your hand to cup chopped pecans around the edge of the cake, if desired.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

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